News / Middle East

Islamist Group Calls for Muslim States to Protect Sunnis in Iraq

FILE - Qatar's Egyptian-born cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi
FILE - Qatar's Egyptian-born cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi
Reuters
Islamist scholars led by influential Qatar-based cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi urged Arab and Islamic states on Thursday to protect Sunni Muslims in Iraq, where sectarian war threatens after Sunni Islamist insurgents overran much of the country's north.
 
Fighters from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized a swathe of northern Iraqi towns last week in a southwards thrust towards Baghdad, stunning the country's Shi'ite Muslim-led central government.
 
The United States is considering an Iraqi request to launch air strikes on ISIL and Iran's president said on Wednesday his countrymen would not hesitate to defend Shi'ite shrines in Iraq.
 
Iraq's energy-rich Gulf Arab neighbors, all Sunni monarchies, have condemned ISIL but blame the Baghdad government for the crisis by failing to share power with Iraq's Sunni minority.
 
“Sunnis have suffered a great injustice and severe exclusion, so it is natural to make a popular revolution against injustices,” the International Union of Muslim Scholars said in a statement issued from Doha in Qatar.
 
“The union calls for Arab and Islamic states to prevent any aggression against Sunnis in Iraq, and for the consolidation of efforts to achieve the legitimate rights of all Iraqis.”
 
Qaradawi is one of the Muslim world's pre-eminent preachers and maintains close links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was overthrown and banned in a military takeover in Egypt last year.
 
Qatar's backing of the Brotherhood and shelter for Qaradawi has stoked tension with other Gulf monarchies, who oppose them.
 
But his group echoed recent statements by Gulf states condemning ISIL by rejecting “terrorist” groups it said violate Muslim principles.
 
“There's a need for unity for all honorable Iraqis, and a need for them to stand against the danger of sectarian strife and work to stop fighting and start reconciliation,” the union of Muslim scholars added in their statement.
 
Iraqi government forces were battling ISIL for control of the country's biggest refinery on Thursday as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki waited for a U.S. response to an appeal for air strikes to beat back the threat to Baghdad.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid